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by Abigail Van Buren

Pro-Choicer Says Adoption Speaks Louder Than Words

DEAR ABBY: In Richland, Wash., men and women are carrying signs and parading small children in front of family-planning clinics in opposition to a woman's right to choose.

Meanwhile, a newborn baby boy was dumped in an apartment complex trash bin and left to die. He was found, hospitalized and survived. The baby, his 17-year-old mother and another son, a 1 1/2-year-old, have been placed in separate King County foster-care families.

Abby, please print the letter signed "Hates Hypocrites" again. In light of the abovementioned incident -- which is occurring all over the nation -- that letter needs to be seen again. -- BARBARA HARROW, RICHLAND, WASH.

DEAR BARBARA: Indeed I will. And here it is:

DEAR ABBY: This is a message to those men and women who try to prevent women from entering abortion clinics and carry big signs that say, "They Kill Babies Here!"

Have you signed up to adopt a child? If not, why not? Is it because you don't want one, can't afford one, or don't have the time, patience or desire to raise a child?

What if a woman who was about to enter a family-planning clinic saw your sign, then decided not to have an abortion but chose instead to give her baby to you? Would you accept it? What if the mother belonged to a minority group -- or was addicted to drugs, or tested positive for AIDS?

Why are you spending your time carrying a sign? Why aren't you volunteering to baby-sit a child born to a single mother so she can work? Why haven't you opened your door to a pregnant teen-ager whose parents have kicked her out when she took your advice and decided not to have an abortion?

As for the taxpayers who resent paying for abortions, who do you think pays for foster care, welfare, social workers and juvenile delinquency? The taxpayers.

Let's talk about something money can't buy: love. Have you ever visited a home for abused and unwanted children? Have you ever been to juvenile hall and seen the children who have committed crimes because they were born to mothers who didn't want them?

I'm not thrilled about abortion, but I don't think anyone has the right to tell others not to have one unless he or she has done the things I have mentioned above.

So, to those carrying those signs and trying to prevent women from entering family planning clinics, heed my message: If you must be against abortion, don't be a hypocrite -- make your time and energy count. -- HATES HYPOCRITES IN SANTA ANA, CALIF.

DEAR HATES: I couldn't have said it better. Or as well.